Car accidents are stressful and can be very traumatic.
If you are involved in a Missouri car accident, your top priority will be to make sure you and your family are safe. Missouri laws have a set of guidelines that should be followed by anyone involved in an automobile accident. Failure to do so may be a violation of state law, so every driver should be aware of this protocol. In the event of an accident, follow these procedures.
Make sure you are safe. If you are involved in a Missouri car accident, first make sure you and your family are safe. Do you smell smoke? Are you on a highway lane at night? Do you smell gasoline from your car or other cars? If necessary, get your family away from further harm. Call 911.
Take pictures of the accident scene. If able, you, a passenger, or even a witness, should take pictures, both close up and far away, of all vehicles involved in the accident. Far away pictures will give a better perspective of where things happened in relation to center lines, intersections, and other surroundings. It is also beneficial to get pictures of details like skid marks and debris in the road. If you are seriously injured and unable to move, ask a police officer or anyone nearby to take pictures. Worst case scenario have someone take pictures the next day.
You are not a doctor. Get medical attention if you have pain. If a police officer asks if you are injured, tell him about any pain. Just because you are not bleeding or do not have a snapped bone does not mean that you are not injured. Pain is a sign of an injury. It hurts your case when the police officer testifies that you said you were not injured.
Do not move an injured person, as it could cause further injury. Call an ambulance. Seek medical care for any pain or injury. Tell all doctors that it is from the accident. Never give your car insurance information to any healthcare provider. Only give it to your attorney.
Call the police. Do not move your car until the police officer says to do so.
Get the names and numbers of witnesses: they often leave quickly.
Exchange contact information with all of the involved parties. If you are able, get information from everyone involved, including their name, address, driver’s license number, motor vehicle information (the VIN and license plate number), and insurance policy company name and insurance policy number.
Do not leave the scene of the accident until a police officer gives you the okay….unless it’s for a medical emergency.
Contact your insurance company but first consult with your attorney. Coverage can be denied or limited depending on the facts which you first review with an attorney.
Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. They will never authorize your to record the person who caused the accident.
Knowing what to do can give you some focus in the event of an accident.
Missouri DMV: Missouri statutes do require motorists to file an accident report with the DMV. This rarely happens though. The usual situation is when the other driver does not have insurance. If so, go to the Missouri DMV website and file a Missouri accident report.
- You should file the report within 30 days of the accident in order to avoid penalties.
- The accident happened in Missouri.
- One of the parties involved in the accident does not have liability insurance.
- There was personal injury or death resulting from the accident
- There was more than $500 in damage
Missouri Car Accident Lawyers
Call a personal injury lawyer after an automobile accident. There is no fee to talk. A Missouri car accident attorney will explain your rights. You are not a threat to a billion dollar insurance company. Handling these cases alone hurts your chances of maximum recovery. And dealing with the added stress of interacting with insurance companies, police, and others can be especially daunting if you or a loved one has been injured in the accident. There will be plenty to do in order to recover physically. Turning legal matters over to an experienced car accident attorney will maximize your chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann right away if you have been injured in a Missouri Auto Accident. Call (314) 361-4300 today to schedule a free consultation.